It’s A Band AND It’s Hair Stuff

HAIRBALL

I am ashamed to say I only recently discovered the hugely-influential and inarguably fabulous band Television — which, if you’re not already familiar with them? Check that shit out. I was, however, already familiar with fancy newish hair stuff brand R+Co, which I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about on here before — but their Television shampoo and conditioner were new to me, and samples of them turned up in an order from Dermstore. BUT IS IT GOOD OR NAH?

WHAT THAT IS

R+Co, like most brands, has lines and products specifically for dry / damaged / color-treated / etc hair. The “Television” duo bills itself as “Perfect Hair Shampoo / Conditioner.” PERFECT? Really? Let’s see what’s in there :

Television Shampoo Ingredients : Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Lauryl Glucoside, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Acrylates Copolymer, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Dimethiconol Panthenol, C11-15 Pareth-7, Laureth-9, Trideceth-12, Panthenol, Glycol Distearate, Laureth-4, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Polyquaternium-6, Polyquaternium-53, Cocamide MIPA, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Formic Acid, Parfum/Fragrance, Limonene

Television Conditioner Ingredients : Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Cetyl Esters, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Behentrimonium Chloride, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Panthenol, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance, Limonene

So the shampoo is sulfate-free, and uses a lot of the pretty standard surfactants you find elsewhere. It also includes juniper and calendula extracts, which, I’m not sure how much impact those actually have on hair, but okey doke. Orbignya Oleifera is also known as babassu oil, and it’s one of the recent “omg this shit is amazing” ingredients I’m seeing turn up more often lately in hair and skin care stuff. Also, sidebar for some trivia : formic acid was originally distilled from ANTS (whose Linnaean family name is Formicidae). Neat, right?

Anyway, the conditioner has a lot of the usual suspects, plus shea butter and babassu. It does have dimethicone, but at least it’s way down the ingredients list, rather than up at the top like usual. On the whole, the ingredients for both of these seem like “yeah, that looks fairly standard for shampoo and conditioner.”

WHAT’S IT LIKE

The shampoo is a translucent ivory; the conditioner is a creamy white. Both share a fragrance that R+Co calls “Dark Waves” and describes as “a warm romantic scent. Cardamom, Pineapple, Tangerine, Lavender, Bamboo, Blonde Woods.” Personally, I’d classify it as “yep, that smells like a salon brand of hair stuff.” It’s a fairly perfumey fruity-floral, but a little more low-key and sophisticated than average. The fragrance is of a low-to-medium intensity while you’re using it, but it’s not strong enough to really linger (much less project) afterwards. I could kiiiinda smell it on my wet hair, but once it was dry? Eh, not really. And certainly not after I’d doused my person with hairspray and perfume.

R+Co Television shampoo

R+Co Television conditioner

HOW DOES IT DO THO?

Again, this is “PERFECT HAIR” shampoo and conditioner [scoff]. It promises “body, shine, strengthening, softening, smoothing.” That’s … ambitious? My pathetic dry double-bleached hair will probably not achieve all of those things. My needs are extreme, I admit, and I mostly look for gentle-yet-effective shampoos, and HAAAARDCORE conditioners  — because my goals are “get all the hairspray and sweat and gunk out of there without stripping my festive colors too much” and “moisturize the shit out of this haystack pls.” So my expectations were pretty low.

Also, shit has to make a MAJOR difference for me to be anywhere near impressed. Actually, any effects achieved via shampoo and conditioner have to be pretty damn pronounced for me to even notice. But you know what? I washed/conditioned, air-dried and then blow-dried as usual, slapped it up in Le Sock Bun overnight, and holy shit my hair was so shiny. People, I actually NOTICED how SHINY my hair was. Even after styling and hairspray. Do you know when the last time that happened, since I’ve been bleaching and dyeing it weird colors? Never. It has never happened.

Yes, I am lame and have reviewed a thing after only using it once. Would this continue to have great effects with consistent use? I don’t know! My hair felt soft and supple (and, again, shiiiiiiiny), but is it actually not as much moisturizing/emollient action as my blue haystack needs? I don’t know! But that one use WAS enough for me to go …

THE VERDICT : DAMN IT, IT’S GOOD. The shampoo is $30/8oz, and the conditioner is $32/8oz … and yet they’re both in my Amazon cart right now. Will I switch to these permanently? Nah, I still really like my Shea Moisture Sacha Inchi, and I’m still convinced that conditioner is the best shit on earth for my pathetic mauled hair. But it’s nice to have more than one thing in rotation, and this is THE ONLY other shampoo and conditioner I’ve tried in the last few years that legit impressed me.

BUT WHAT ELSE IS GOOD?

If you’re into exploring and willing to shell out, the line is pretty extensive, and most of it is available on Amazon, Dermstore, SpaceNK, and their own site. Obviously I haven’t tried EVERYTHING — I only got so much hair and so much time, y’all — but I’ve played around with this brand more than any other except Aveda. I used their Atlantis shampoo and conditioner for quite a while and really liked it, but subsequently found things that seem a good bit more “nourishing” etc for my heavily-abused hair. I’ve also tried (and liked!) their since-discontinued Moon Shine shampoo and conditioner; the Jackpot styling cream is GREAT for my purposes, and definitely helps my recalcitrant hair hold a curly style for a little longer. Not crazy about : The “ONE” prep spray didn’t seem to really accomplish anything for me, and the Outer Space flexible hairspray was a little too sweet-smelling for me, but more importantly the hold (billed as “flexible”) was just not strong enough to suit my preferences.

Things I like about this brand : 1) well-designed, clean, easy-to-use packaging with 2) suuuuuper artsy-cool designs and 3) the whole line is vegetarian, cruelty-free, and sulfate-free. Woo! Also, they have a number of specific scents with specific names — “Dark Waves,” “Rosy Eyed,” “Relative Paradise,” etc — and the product descriptions on their site specify which scent each product has. So if you find one you love (or hate), you know what to expect when looking at other products with the same scent. HANDY.

Things I don’t like about this brand : 1) Their site does not provide a full ingredients list for each product, ugh, so I always have to look it up elsewhere. 2) It’s bloody expensive, ugh.

TRIED IT? DIG IT? Discuss!